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St. Marie-La-Mauderne is a tiny fishing village in what some may call the middle of nowhere. For eight years the locals have stood in line for weekly welfare checks, wearing patched sweaters and glum expressions, and remembering the good old days when the catch was good, the fishermen were proud, and life seemed a lot more magical. Then one day, a chance at salvation: a small company wants to build a factory on the island, but only if a full-time doctor lives in St. Marie. The situation seems hopeless until a young doctor in Montreal has an unfortunate incident with a traffic cop and finds himself on a boat to the faraway village. But how to convince handsome, young, urbane Dr. Lewis to stay in this dreary little spot on the map? As it turns out, the answer lies in just a bit of seductive subterfuge--along with a tapped phone, a hastily assembled cricket team, and something called Festival de Beef Stroganoff. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Laughing throughout the film makes this a top comedy
This is one of those films which reminds viewers that the medium can be smart and very, very funny at the same time. Even better, La Grande Seduction manages to make an audience laugh throughout its length without constantly resorting to the tired bathroom, sex or slapstick humour employed in so many other films.
Like the most predictable humour found in modern sitcoms, the laughs are derived from deception in one form or another. Still, the over-the-top means employed and the end itself - convincing a city doctor to reside in a physician-free outport - allows any viewer to simply enjoy what unfolds, and relish both the obvious and the obtuse.
I had the pleasure of watching the movie with my in-laws, and can attest that the guffaws span all ages and can break through any language barrier. Hands down, it was the funniest movie any of us had seen in a number of years. Highly recommended.
The irony of the situation was that we purchased the DVD just for the purpose of seeing the scenery. La Grande Seduction was shot in Harrington Harbor, an island outport on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which my wife and I had visited earlier this summer. The lovely village connected only by boardwalks and dominated by pedestrians and ATVs instead of cars is surrounded by the wonderful geography typical of the St. Lawrence Basse-Cote-Nord (Lower North Shore). Unsurprisingly, the real but unique location, still a working fishing village, does not have problems attracting doctors or anyone else. The painful part is not being able to stay longer.
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